BERLIN— This month marks 50 years since Israel and West Germany established diplomatic ties. It has been an understandably complex relationship, launched two decades after the Holocaust ended and 14 years after West Germany committed to reparations “both moral and material” for the genocide committed by the Nazis. (The decision to accept German money and goods was contentious among Israelis, some of whom referred to the payouts as “blood money.”)
Normalized relations between Israel and West Germany might have been initiated years earlier had it not been for objections from Arab states. But decades on, the connection between Israel and a now-united Germany — East Germany never established formal diplomatic ties with the Jewish state — has grown beyond its historical imperative, encompassing broad political, cultural, economic and military exchanges.
Here are some highlights from that relationship: